Policy paper 284

Northern Europe:
champion of healthy ageing

Recommended citation:
Marchais, I. 2022. “Northern Europe: champion of healthy ageing“, Policy paper n°284, Paris: Jacques Delors Institute, 24 November.


Against the backdrop of the Green Deal and new technologies, the environmental and digital transitions have dominated public debate. However, political leaders continue to under-estimate the demographic transition, in which the share of older people is constantly on the rise in an ageing Europe. Article 25 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights highlights that: “The Union recognises and respects the rights of the elderly to lead a life of dignity and independence and to participate in social and cultural life.” Dominated by “youth culture”, Western societies are struggling to tackle the issue properly and more often than not simply reduce it to its social and economic dimension through the prism of pensions, the labour market or the cost of healthcare, without addressing the issue in its entirety, including social, societal and psychological aspects. There are, however, an increasing number of red flags, like the warning issued by the United Nations which made 2021-2030 the “Decade of Health Ageing”. The challenge ahead is not simply to live longer, but to “age in good health”.